stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
It's been a weird spring break.  It's budget season for Darwin at his job, so he's been horrifyingly busy at his office.  The tax monster took an unexpected big bite from us.  I have a freakishly tight deadline.  And the weather, which through March was delightfully warm and pleasant, has turned cold, snowy, and awful.  So we haven't gone anywhere or done anything.

I've spent the week chained to my keyboard.  The aforementioned deadline is keeping my busy, and I also got the page proofs for another project at the same time, so it's a working break.  Darwin has been getting home late thanks to the budget.  =He= is taking next week off for vacation.

My vacation activities have been limited to sleeping late, watching THE FORCE AWAKENS, keeping up with my running, and playing TALISMAN with Maksim.
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This was the drive back.  We had another day at the condo, but it's a 19-hour drive, and there's only me at the wheel, so we're two days on the road, and I don't want to arrive home on Sunday and go straight back to work on Monday.

We took a different route home, one that didn't involve quite so many mountains.  (The car doesn't like mountains--the engine labors and it scarfs down the gas.)  The trip was dull and totally uneventful.  The boys travel very well.  Mackie's happy as long as the electronics hold out, and Aran alternates between listening to music on the car stereo and sleeping.

We got home without incident, unpacked, and plopped into our own beds.  Weird how just sitting all day can be tiring.

It was a great vacation!
stevenpiziks: (Default)

A bit of web surfing turned up directions to the Daytona Speedway. There are no races in April, but they give tours if the racetrack, and Aran is a NASCAR fan. Mackie isn't, but I told him that he could choose the afternoon activity if he went along without complaining.

The racetrack is only fifteen minutes away from the condo and it was easy to find.  An attached building outside it has a NASCAR museum in it.  I bought tickets for the racetrack tour and then we examined the museum while we waited for the tour to start.  The museum had a racecar in it and other memorabilia, which Aran liked.

The tour was outside on trams pulled by a truck, and the 12:00 one filled up, much to our annoyance.  We had to wait another half hour in the outdoor queue while they scrounged up another tram and tour guide.  The other tourists, the boys, and I stood in line and fumed. However, this ultimately turned out to be a good thing--people were crushed into the 12:00 tram, and when the scared-up 12:30 tram showed up, there were only enough people to fill it by a third. So we had more leg room and we didn't have to wait around as long for people to do things like take pictures later on the tour.  Cool!

The tram took us all over.  We trundled down the racetrack ("The cars rush down this pavement at 200 miles per hour.  We're topping 15 right now," said the guide) and saw the turn bank and the pit stops and the garage area (complete with awesome racecars in it).  We got to visit the press box and look down at the track from six stories and learn something about the history of racing at Daytona Beach.

I don't remember why or in what context, but I had done a bunch of reading about racing at Daytona Beach several months ago.  NASCAR evolved out of a bunch of guys who raced their cars down the sands of the beach in 1903 or so at terrifying speeds of 50 miles per hour.  The eventually carved an oval track in the sand dunes, and more and more people came to watch.  The crowds and the speeds eventually made it too unwieldy to keep down at the beach, and in the 50s, a racetrack was constructed and NASCAR was born.  However, to this day, you can still drive on Daytona Beach, though much more slowly.

Anyway, the tour was pretty interesting.  Mackie, who has no interest in NASCAR whatsoever, behaved very well all throughout, and at the end, as I promised, I told him we could do whatever he wanted to do.  I was expecting to hear he wanted to go to a water park or mini golf or an arcade, but he wanted everyone to go swimming in the ocean at the hotel.

And that's what we did.  The waves were still high, and they bashed everyone around quite a lot.  Eventually, the boys got tired--ocean swimming is draining--and they finished up in the hotel pool.  Supper was at Uno's Pizza (which I love but has disappeared from Michigan) and then quiet time at the condo.
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Because yesterday was so busy, today was a relax day. We didn't do anything except sleep late, swim, and watch videos.

The ocean was higher today. The waves were easily six and eight feet tall. The boys and I played in them quite a lot. It was great fun. The weather remained perfect, sunny and in the eighties. A little thunder rolled in later in the day, which made Mackie nervous, but it was nothing serious.

It feels like I'm on summer break, not spring break, and it's hard to believe that I have to teach again on Monday. It feels so much like summer, it doesn't seem possible that we have another ten weeks of school left.
stevenpiziks: (Default)

We conquered Disney World today. Oddly, the boys slept late-ish. I let them--I know from experience at Cedar Point that arriving at the park when it opens doesn't really get you any advantage on wait time for rides.  Everyone else thinks the same thing and arrives early, too.

The last time I visited Disney was in the third grade, so my information was out of date. I was a little nervous about getting there--would it be tricky, and so on. I told myself that Disney has created an entire industry out of getting people into the park to spend money, and that they would ensure we won't get turned around.

This was totally true. Once the GPS got us to Orlando, the signs for Disney World were clear and numerous. You're sucked in like a whirlpool.  Parking wasn't as costly as I'd feared, either. The boys were fascinated with the process of riding a tram, then boarding a monorail to the park proper.  We bought our tickets and went into the fabled magic kingdom.

What followed was a mixed bag, really. Here’s why: Disney World seems to be stuboornly set in 1964, with Mickey and Donald and Goofy and Cinderella and Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.  But the boys have only seen a few cartoons with Mickey and friends.  They’ve never seen Cinderella or Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. To them, Disney is The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid and Buzz Lightyear.  They were a little mystified about who all these unfamiliar cartoon characters were.

A new Fantasyland to house more modern characters is under construction, but for now, they're all conspicuously absent.  It seems a strange choice, given their current demographic.

There was other stuff that grabbed their attention.  The characters and the rides associated with them, however, didn't.

Aran and Maksim waffled between charmed and bored, fascinated and yawning. Mackie doesn't much like big swoopy rides, but he adored the people mover and the Carousel of Progress. (That was a surprise--I thought he'd be bored, but he sang along with the songs and found the animatronic family entrancing.)  Aran did some street dancing with some other kids to a DJ--he was pretty good--and was embarrassed to discover I was taping him. He made me promise never to show or post it.

Mackie had a temper tantrum around lunchtime. He complained that thee had nothing to do, but then refused to say what he wanted to do, even when I offered him a number of choices.  I think he was a little overwhelmed, to tell the truth.

I finally sent Aran off on his own, armed with his new cell phone.  He happily hurried off to try the rides Mackie had refused. (Look, everyone--normal teen behavior!  How cool is that?)

I dragged Mackie around to a few different places, and finally got him on the train. He liked this very much, and we rode it twice all the way around the park. He adored the animatronic people on display along the track.

Small aside--yesterday, Mackie saw a newspaper article about a boy with a rare genetic disorder that makes the hunger centers in his brain misfire. He never feels full and will eat himself to death if allowed. The boy is terribly overweight and his mother has to lock all the food in the house up.

On the train, a couple and their young daughter boarded and took seats next to us. All three were morbidly obese and were digging into ice cream.  When we got off, Mackie said to me, "Did that family have the eating disease?"

"No," I said. "That's very rare."

"They need to be healthier then," Mackie said. "They could die."

"Yes. But I’m glad you didn't say anything on the train."

"No.  That would be mean," he said.

We next went to Tom Sawyer’s Island.  Mackie had never heard of Tom Sawyer, but there's a rustic fort on that island, and Mackie just about died and went to heaven. He rushed around defending the place from invaders and shooting the toy guns they have there in the towers. We spent more than two hours there, and he was still going strong when it was time to go meet Aran.  I had to pry him away!

We found Aran at the castle, our meeting place. He was perfectly fine and had gone on Space Mountain and other rides, which he loved.

We tried a couple other attractions. Mackie freaked at the Haunted Mansion, so Aran did that alone. We also watched part of the show at Cinderella’s Castle. Once again, it was all old characters, none of the new ones. Weird.

I was willing to stay much later, but the boys ran out of energy at about nine, so we retraced our steps, tough we took the ferry back instead of the monorail. I told the boys the story of Tom Sawyer and whitewashing the fence.

On the drive back to Daytona Beach, Mackie leaned back in his seat and said, "This was nice," which about summed it all up.

stevenpiziks: (Default)
This was a more relaxed day. Lots of swimming in the pool and the ocean. We also went to a go-kart / arcade place that turned out to be kinda dull and a bit of a waste. (Are go-karts any fun for anyone who already has a driver’s license?) The track was bumpy and nasty and the video games were old and dull and expensive. The mini-golf course was fun, though, and the boys liked it very much. Maksim got two holes in one!

For supper I wanted to try a local seafood place called Aunt Catfish’s on the River, but we discovered when we got there that the wait for a table was over two hours.  I dunno--I have trouble waiting for more than two minutes for a table. There are lots of restaurants around. We hung out for a bit in case a table opened earlier--Aunt Catfish's had a dock that the boys found interesting--but we left after twenty minutes. Instead we went to an Italian seafood place not far from the condo.

Here's where things got interesting. I tried lobster ravioli. Aran was trying to decide between pizza and a half and half order of shrimp and scallops. I pounced on this.

"Aran, you should try something new.  That’s the whole point of being on vacation."

And he ordered the half and half. (!)

Mackie got grilled chicken--new for him at a restaurant--and a shrimp cocktail appetizer. He ordered for himself and asked questions of the server like an adult. I was impressed!  They both ate their entire meals, too.

Afterward, I wanted to go to a movie, but the boys couldn't agree on what to see, so we went swimming again instead.  We’d also bought s’mores stuff at the store, and the resort has an outdoor gas fireplace to make them on.  It was fun doing that.

After the boys went to bed, I went out for a run.

I’ve been determined not to let vacation halt my fitness regimen, and I'd brought workout clothes with me. It’s different running on the beach. You don't have to worry about hitting anything and it's flat and it’s not too hard-packed. I quickly learned that the breeze always blows north,so it’s best to run north first, before I'm hot, then turn and run home south against the cooling wind for the second half. It was pretty, with the waves crashing against the dark beach beneath a gibbous moon.  And it was a good run.
stevenpiziks: (Default)
We slept in this morning. The boys wanted to go down to the beach before breakfast, so we went. Mackie gamboled through the ocean waves like a baby dolphin. The ocean was a wonder to him, and endlessly fascinating. Aran, a Great Lakes child to the core, was put off by the salt, and refused to do more than wade. I waded around and finally made myself dive in at least once to get through at least some trepidation. I'm still alive!

We adjourned to breakfast at an IHOP, then drove up and down the main strip to figure out what there is to do in Daytona Beach. All we found were lots of hotels, and Mackie was seriously put off by MORE DRIVING. I found an on ramp to the beach and asked if we should take it. Both said I should.

Daytona Beach is one of the only beaches in the world you can drive on. And people do. You can rent convertibles for it, if you want. We drove sedately on hard-packed sand past people sunbathing, swimming, and trying to dig their cars out of sand piles.

And then we passed a guy standing by a truck painted with signs for parasailing. Ah ha! We hopped out to talk to him. This was something I'd wanted to try, and the boys were ... mostly interested and partly nervous. The rates were reasonable, and the guy gave directions. Perfect!

Mackie wanted to go right away. So we did.

At the parasailing place, we (I) paid for 800 feet but got an upgrade to 1000 feet because I'd talked to the guy on the beach road. Mackie, however, was adamant that we only go to 800 feet. So I, er, stretched the truth and told him it would only be 800.

We boarded a boat with a three other groups who were sailing too and headed out.

The weather was perfect--sunny, warm, light breeze. Calm water.  The ocean doesn't bother me if I'm not actually in it, so I was fine. We cruised out to a safe distance from shore. Aran was a little nervous at the motion of the boat, and I spent time reassuring him that it wouldn't tip over and that the sea was very calm that day.

"I wouldn't do something that would put you in danger," I told him, and he calmed down.

Two of the other groups were from Michigan and one of the boat guides was from Michigan. Michiganders apparently go to Florida a lot.

A brief aside here. It seems to be the duty of dads everywhere to tell dumb jokes that their kids complain about and nonetheless like. When I was young, we lived near a small business that made pallets, and every time we drove past the place, my dad would say, "They make pallets there" in a serious tone that indicated this was a serious piece of news he had never told us before. It got to the point where he had to say it or one of would have to. There were endless variations: "Know what they do there?" "Make pallets?" "Why, yes."

So when the boat guide asked the man across from us what he did and the man said, "I own a small business. We make pallets," it was with great difficulty that I stopped myself from shouting, "They make pallets there!"

I feel I should be commended.

At last our turn came to go up. The guides buckled all three of us into the chair harness and the captain sped up. Mackie and Aran were nervous, but too late for that. WHOOSH! Up we went.

And then they were fine.  We hung high over the ocean, looking down at blue-green in all directions. No sound but the gentle wind and our own voices. The tether stretched far below to the tiny boat.

"It’s amazing," Maksim breathed. "Like being in a dream!"

Aran just stared in all directions and laughed when I asked him if he liked it.

"We are gods!" I shouted, but shouting made the boys nervous again, so I stopped.

At last they reeled us in. There was a short dunking in the ocean, which Aran found hilarious, and then we were back on the boat. We enjoyed the rest of the ride and returned safely to shore, where, yes, I paid an exorbitant amount of money for the disk with the photos on it. I’ll post later.

We made a trip to the grocery store for breakfast and lunch stuff, and although the prices were way high, they were still lower than restaurants.  It’s why I like staying in a condo or cottage on vacation.

We made a trip down to the beach then. Aran didn't care to go, so it was me and Maksim.

The early evening air was soft and calm, and the hotels threw long shadows over the ocean. Maksim plunged in, bobbing among the low waves. I waded, still uncertain about the sea.  One of the other guests earlier today mentioned he saw large marine life swimming offshore, probably manta rays or something like that, and I was nervous again. But I made myself go in with my son.

Eventually I was able to get waist-deep (the depth at which most shark attacks take place, I might add), and actually float around. So I did pretty good, I think.

Then it was supper in the condo and cruising downtown Daytona. I discovered it was $10 to park near the interesting areas, and my inner miser snarled at the idea.  You want ten bucks for parking, there better be caviar involved.  Hot dogs and a boardwalk are worth maybe fifty cents.  I'm a lazy American, but not THAT lazy.

I drove around, and about four blocks away from the beach, I found a biker bar named Dirty Harry's.  It had lots of free parking, along with the tattoo-festooned bikers and homeless people wandering around.  Well, all right then.  This is why I paid all that money for karate instruction.  Ten bucks.  Ha!

I gave a homeless man all my change, and we arrived at the boardwalk just fine, thanks.

The boardwalk is tourist heaven--or hell.  It’s a long row of souvenir shops and arcades, and there's a really expensive carnival offering up a ferris wheel, go-karts, and other rides. The boys were thrilled, and I had to remind them not to spend all their money, since Disney World was coming up.

Back at the condo, we elected for more swimming. I'm actually writing this on my iPad poolside while Maksim swims. Aran in in the hot tub holding a conversation with a pair of teenage girls! Some other teens joined in later, and Aran is still among them. I'm ecstatic over the socialization!

Later I'm planning to jog on the beach. We’ll see how that goes.

It’s an awesome vacation so far! So glad we did this.
stevenpiziks: (Default)
Friday after Maksim got home from school we loaded up the car and fled through a driving rainstorm for Florida. A teacher in Wherever had a time share down there, but her plans changed and she was desperately seeking someone to take it. I took it. First vacation I've had with the boys in over three years!

The drive down was mostly tedious. We did go through the Appalachian Mountains, which Aran and Maksim had never seen before, and they found them enchanting. Aran couldn’t stop talking about them. The car didn’t like them much, though, and labored through much of the climbing. I think I'll look for a different route home.

Spent the night in a bad motel outside Charlotte. The clerk promised it was a nonsmoking room but the place smelled of tobacco and Mackie found cigarette burns in the bedspread. Yech.

The next day was loooooooong. But at last we reached Florida. The boys thought the palm trees at the rest areas were seriously cool, and they marveled at the warm weather.

Found the condo building after some searching--the GPS was off--and checked in. Two bedrooms, both with an ocean view, which was seriously awesome.

It was after dark and a little stormy. When I looked out the balcony, it took me a while to under stand what I was looking at. The immense, roiling blackness that swallowed up the horizon and overwhelmed the air with rushing and sighing was too immense to take in at first. Aran couldn't comprehend it at all, and it took quite some time for him to get that it was the ocean. "I thought it was a special effect!" he said.

We ordered pizza for a very late supper and went to bed. Or the boys did. I went down to the ocean for a bit. It was just me down there. I've always been afraid of the ocean, actually. The immensity and the deadly sea life in it are too frightening for me to enjoy it well. I stood on the beach and watched the waved snap like teeth at the shore.

"Look," I said, "I don’t like you and you don't like me. Actually you don't care if I exist one way or the other. But I’ll keep my mouth shut about it around my kids so they don’t pick up on it if you lay off for a week."

No answer. I wasn't expecting one. But I went inside anyway and fell asleep to the sound of ocean waves safely six stories below my balcony.
stevenpiziks: (Light)
The end of the school year went pretty normally.  I gave exams, dealt with the usual flurry of last-minute begging for the chance to make up missing work, and graded final essays.  (Because of the late Labor Day, the year ran long, and the final day of exams was Tuesday.)  Once that was done, I cleaned my room, put everything away, and cleared out computer files.

I also spent considerable time looking at English 12.  This is a new class mandated by the State of Michigan for next year, and I'm teaching two sections of it.  New class!  Most teachers would rather give themselves a manicure by scraping their fingernails over a blackboard than teach a new class--it's a hell of a lot of work--but I'm kind of looking forward to it.  The reading list looks interesting, and the proposed projects are kind of cool.  I was feeling kind of stale last year, so this might shake things up for me a little, job-wise.

However, it also means I have to do a fair amount of reading this summer.  I haven't looked at OEDIPUS REX, ANTIGONE, or GILGAMESH in years, and I'm only passingly familiar with MAUS.  And they have certain passages of the bible on there.  They want a Witch to teach that?  Oh, the irony!

Actually, it's a little sad, or perhaps scary, that when I teach literature with biblical allusions in it, I invariably learn that the vast, vast majority of my students have no clue about any of this stuff.  They've never heard of the Exodus, don't know the story of Cain and Abel, don't even know how Christians get into heaven. (Seriously!)  They don't know any of the parables Jesus tells, how the crucifixion went, or why we have Good Friday off from school.

"Most of you guys self-identify as Christian," I say, "but you haven't even read the book that's supposed to tell you the history of your own spirituality and how to behave appropriately to your beliefs?"

"We don't even have a bible in the house," someone invariably says.

"Go talk to your religious leader. Minister, priest, whoever. If you say you want to read the bible but don't have one in the house, I guarantee you will walk away from that meeting with a copy in your hands. It's scary that I, a person who doesn't practice the religion, know more about it than the people who say they do."

But I digress.

I tracked down a copy of the textbook we'll be using and took it home, but it doesn't have the novels in it and the district hasn't bought them yet. I'll have to find them elsewhere.

On Wednesday, I hung around my empty classroom until an administrator could come around and certify me ready finished and ready to go.  Now it's SUMMER BREAK!

Last Day

Sep. 1st, 2009 08:47 pm
stevenpiziks: (Default)
Today is technically the last day of summer break.  I have two days of meetings at school on Wednesday and Thursday (no students).  Then I have a four-day weekend.  Friday we're off because in Michigan it's illegal for schools to be open the Friday before Labor Day.  This is to promote tourism in a state where it's a multi-billion dollar industry.  And Monday is Labor Day.  Tuesday we have students.  So technically I start school tomorrow, but . . .

Sasha had a dentist appointment early.  One cavity.  Sigh.  He also has a tooth which is showing up late.  Sasha is missing a couple of teeth congenitally, but one is just now coming in.  It's weird.  The dentist is hoping there'll be room for it.

Then I had a doctor's appointment to talk about medications I'm on.  And then I found myself in the kitchen for several hours.

We were out of cookies, the bananas were getting too ripe to eat, and I was cooking supper.  I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and followed it with banana bread.  Then it was time to make dinner.

I was making quiche for the first time.  We were casting about for meals this week, and it occurred to me that quiche would be something for everyone.  Mackie doesn't like meat.  Aran and Sasha don't like vegetables.  Everyone likes cheese and eggs.  I could make two quiches--one with ham and one with veggies.  I'd never made it before, and discovered that the prep--chopping everything up--took a lot longer than I thought it would.  The boys were all three curious about this weird new dish I was making.  I avoided telling Aran that it was basically egg pie because I didn't think he'd react well.

They came out perfectly fine--it's hard to mess up quiche, really--and all three boys ate it enthusiastically.  Sasha wanted the vegetable one.  (!)  Half an hour after supper, Mackie asked for another piece.  So we'll do this one again.

Oddly tired now.

stevenpiziks: (Default)
In which Steven posts a brief account of vacation activities:
Read more... )
stevenpiziks: (Default)
What a week!  The classes with seniors in them had final exams this week because seniors finish by Memorial Day weekend.  And my freshmen finished THE ODYSSEY smack in the middle of it, meaning they were ready for the unit test.  Six sets of tests all within one week!  So much red ink--and the reason I haven't posted much lately.  But everything is at last finished, grades are entered, and my Doomsday List (of seniors who failed) has arrived at the office.

I now have a four day weekend.  Leaving soon for my own Undisclosed Location.
stevenpiziks: (Default)
In the morning, we ate breakfast in the hotel (part of the room rental).  It was a hot-and-cold buffet and decent enough.  Then we packed everything into the van, took a change of clothes into the waterpark, and let the boys swim again.  Kala and I didn't really want to, so we stay dressed and dry.

One observation: the stone/tile floor in there is slippery.  Mackie fell.  I fell.  Aran fell and hurt his wrist.  I saw three other people fall while I was there.  It seems like the whole thing is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and I don't quite understand why they haven't put in better flooring.

At about 10:30, Sasha said he wanted to change, so we decided to head home.  Aran and Maksim didn't protest when we told them it was time to leave, so we knew they were tired, too.  I managed to get everyone into dry clothes in the extremely limited boys' changing area, and we headed home.

The boys had a fine time.  So did Kala and I, really, though we aren't eager to do it again.  So much noise!

stevenpiziks: (Fountain)
Freshly dried and smelling of chlorine, we went in search of supper.  We thought about heading out, but decided to eat at the hotel restaurant.  Weirdly, the restaurant only had tables for four, and they had to push two tables together to seat us.  This struck me as weird.  Didn't this place ever get parties larger than four?  I found that hard to believe.

We also considered looking for a movie theater or something for after supper, but there isn't one in Dundee.  The closest one was a twenty-five-minute drive away in Adrian, and we weren't up for that.  However, Cabela's was across the street.  Cabela's is one of the country's biggest shopping places for outdoor stuff--camping, hunting, boating, you name it.  We walked over for a look, though Sasha's stomach was feeling odd and he elected to stay behind in the hotel room.

Mackie and Aran were alternately fascinated and bored by Cabela's.  They loved the kayaks, canoes, power boats. fishing boats, compound bows, crossbows, and toy guns.  The rest of the stuff . . . not so much.  We need to replace our big tent, so I browsed some, though not intending to buy.  We maneuvered Mackie around the rifle and shotgun room.

Back in the room, we got out snacks and put KUNG FU PANDA in the DVD player.  The boys piled on the big bed to watch, and everyone liked it.  This was actually my favorite part of the trip.
stevenpiziks: (Fountain)
Kala had to work on Thursday and wouldn't get home until after 4:00, so we decided I would take the boys down to the water park hotel earlier and she would come down from work.  I spent a big chunk of the morning getting everything ready.  We were only going away overnight, but there was so much to get together!  Swimming stuff, toiletries, various medications for various family members, and food.  Our room would have a mini-fridge in it, so I decided to bring lots of snack foods, all of which had to be packed in bags or the cooler.  The boys helped, but they were as helpful as you might expect from kids who have never spent the night at a hotel before.  (The last time we did any hotel time was when we adopted Sasha and Maksim and spent a night in Amsterdam on the way home.  Only Sasha remembers it, and just barely.)

Loaded everything into the van and headed off.  Dundee isn't that far away, and we arrived easily.  Got us checked in, a process that fascinated the boys, and then drove around to a door close to ours to unload.  The boys seemed impressed that I knew we could get a cart for our stuff.  Found our room easily enough.  It was a family suite--king bed and two bunk beds.  Huh.  I thought it would have four bunks.  I called down for a rollaway, and one eventually arrived.  Whew!

Got everything unpacked.  By now the boys were dancing with the need to hit the water park.  We suited up and headed down.

The park was NOISY.  Seriously.  The loudness of it hit like a physical wall.  And it was extremely crowded.  The lazy river was packed so fully, you could barely wedge yourself in.  Floaty tubes were at such a premium that any time someone abandoned one, it was snatched up almost before it hit the ground.

The boys loved it.  They rushed around from attraction to attraction (though Aran had to be extracted from the lazy river, where he seemed bent on spending the entire time).  The two slides had long lines, but they went quickly.

I started getting a migraine headache, unfortunately.  The noise of the place didn't help.  I took Mackie up to the room for a snack and I downed some meds, which blunted it, at least.

The crowd thinned out around 4:00, though all the chairs and benches were still draped with towels and beach bags.  I absolutely love it when people put their towels on public chairs and walk away.  It means I always have a place to sit.

Kala arrived, and there was more swimming and sliding and splashing.  At last it was time for supper, and we dashed through the now-chilly corridors to our room.
stevenpiziks: (Default)

I'm doing it.  I'm going, and that's it.

I'm planning a trip to Ireland for this summer.

I've been wanting to visit Ireland for years and years.  One of my goals was to go before I turned 40.  Didn't make it.  The money was never there.  This spring, however, it will be, and if I don't go now, the chance may evaporate.  I'm grabbing it.

My plan is to board a flight to Dublin on a Wednesday, thereby arriving Thursday morning.  I'll spend Thursday and Friday in Dublin, seeing what I can while I recover from jet lag.  Saturday I'll rent a car and drive to a country cottage I'm planning to rent in County Meath.  I'll stay there for a week.  The place is equidistant from several things I want to see, including Newgrange and Tara and several other smaller things.  It's also within easy reach of Dublin if I want to go back there some more.  Once that's done, I'll go back to Dublin, spend one more night, and fly home.

It's not my dream trip, which would involve two weeks and a long tour of archaeological Ireland, but I'll take it.

I'm taking Corey with me.  My harp maker friend (found at ) is going to make a hard-sided travel case so Corey won't get smashed in transit.  I'm going to play Irish folk music in the Irish countryside, on Irish cliffsides overlooking the ocean, and in the center of standing stone circles.  (If I don't come back, forward my mail care of Tam Lin and True Tom.)  And oh yes--maybe even in a pub or two.

I'll be alone.  This is partly because we can't afford a family trip to Ireland, partly because I don't think the boys would really be interested (and I =know= Kala isn't interested), and mostly because I want to do in Ireland the things I've always wanted to do without worrying about other people getting bored.

This is going to be so cool.


Feb. 11th, 2008 06:44 pm
stevenpiziks: (Default)

I'm off this week for mid-winter break!  The boys are not, and Kala has a sub job for the whole week, so I have the house to myself.  Whee!

This would have been the perfect time for me to go Somewhere Warm on a trip or something, but we have no money for that right now, and besides, I need to finish this Ghost Whisperer book.


stevenpiziks: (Default)

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